Drive traffic

Audience Development: 5 Free Ways To Drive Traffic

Paid marketing campaigns aren’t the only way to drive traffic to your website. Believe it or not, you can increase impressions and conversions 100 percent for free. It won’t happen overnight, but if you implement the following five methods into your marketing strategy, you’ll see impressive, cost effective results.

Use SEO to drive traffic

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focuses on audience development by driving organic search traffic to your website. Once you’ve established a website on sites like Wix or Weebly and created high quality content, you need to get your pages appearing near the top of major search engines.

A sound SEO strategy requires an understanding and utilization of the following:

  • Focus keywords: words or short phrases that are emphasized as the main topics within your content. Think of these as the terms users are most likely to type into search queries when looking for your site. You’ll want to make sure to use these words in H1 headers, page titles and elsewhere within your content.
    • WARNING: Don’t use focus keywords excessively, or in a nonsensical manner. Google is cracking down on “keyword stuffing” and it could actually lower your standing in their rankings.
  • Internal links: hyperlinks within your content that lead users to other pages on your website. This is the simplest method of link building because you have complete control of the link creation.
    • WARNING: Don’t create internal links excessively. Once again, Google can punish you by forcing your website off its search rankings.
  • Back links: getting other websites to hyperlink back to your pages. This is the cleanest form of link building and it’s a great method to build a following for your website.
  • Meta tags: snippets of content written into your site’s HTML coding that inform search engines about the topic on a given page. This is known as an off-site SEO strategy because this isn’t seen on the page itself.

Also on StartupNation.com: 3 Quick Lead Generation Tips


Social media

Social media accounts are easy to set up, but they require diligence and engagement if you want to build a significant following. Not only do you have to post frequently, but your postings must be stimulating to users, directing them back to your website. It’s advised that you study how to write effective copywriting so that your postings exude professionalism and are persuasive. This is an important skill to utilize in writing ad copy for your brand.

Besides the standard Facebook and Twitter (channels that every small business should use), try to incorporate at least one to three others for your brand.

Newsletter

This can be a short email sent out periodically to your core consumers, and it will do wonders in maintaining engagement and brand involvement. Topics can range from “New Product Releases” to even a “Happy Holidays” message. Anything to make your audience feel included.

Reaching out to experts and influencers

Try to contact experts in your field to see if they’d like to contribute content to your website. This will help validate the quality of your brand to consumers, as well as guide followers to your website.

Remember when we discussed backlinking? This is how it’s done. Getting involved with experts means they will likely post links to your website. The result is more user engagement, higher placement in search results, and overall more dedicated traffic to your pages.

Studying analytics

Finally, knowing intricate details about web traffic is paramount to devising a successful marketing plan for your site. It’s not enough to choose a web host and set up your site, you have to pay attention to what happens when visitors land on your pages. Google Analytics shows who is visiting your site, when they’re visiting, and through which channels they’re finding you. Did I mention it’s free? This data is invaluable and should be monitored daily to ensure consistent and effective site optimization. For more info, visit analytics.google.com.

As you can gather, there are plenty of ways to drive traffic to your website at no financial cost to you. Naturally, you’ll want to invest in some paid advertising down the road, but for getting your product out there and establishing a brand, it’s really as simple as one word: “optimization.” Once your content is fully optimized, social media presence is intact and you are building links to your content, the traffic will follow.

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